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Casting Metal Parts
Weaponeer Forums : Casting

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  Inabadhood

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Posted: December 05 2008 at 1:29pm | IP Logged Quote Inabadhood

Gundoctor & MadJack are right...

When I used to cast things in high school, we'd add some flux to the crucible to get some of the impurities to float better, scoop them out, and add the degassing agent, stirr it around, and it'll help get some of the oxygen out of your aluminum before you pour your cast.

That was the only way I knew to minimize the porous 'bubbling' look on the final cast product.

I've mostly only done sand castings myself, but even so, with the flux/degassing, they'd come out pretty darn smooth surfaced!

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  midmichigun

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Posted: December 05 2008 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When I get back, then I can have some fun! I do know the problem with my last cast was two fold..... not to detract from degassing and flux. Yes they are important when I cast AL.

I was getting alot of STEAM out of the metal after I had poured into the mold. It was also bubbling and hissing.

I needed to get the mold probably to a higher temp, and to also make sure the mold was dry. Remember plaster likes water. This was brought up in one of the links that I have looked at. You get a pretty bad cast when the plaster is wet (hot metal and water don't mix).

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  MADJACK

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Posted: December 05 2008 at 8:38pm | IP Logged Quote MADJACK

The sand needs to be at a happy medium with the moisture too wet is no good, just damp enough to stick is all you need.

As far as machining, I must be really lucky, but I have had no problems with gummy aluminum, tool wear etc. I use HSS tooling. Most of the things I've done don't require extensive machining though.

Some of you may have seen this before, but here is an example of a casting for a mini-14,

 

 

 

 

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  gundoctor

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Posted: December 05 2008 at 8:48pm | IP Logged Quote gundoctor

Madjack.  That is both nice design and nice work
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  midmichigun

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Posted: December 05 2008 at 9:16pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

madjack,

Now that is what I am talking about! Slick... very slick...

What AL are you using... salvage? Purchased ingots?

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  MADJACK

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Posted: December 06 2008 at 10:56pm | IP Logged Quote MADJACK

This particular piece was a combination of previously refined ingots and 40mm bases if I remember correctly. It may have contained the cast aluminum housing from a meat slicer too
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  midmichigun

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Posted: December 06 2008 at 11:10pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Madjack,

Could you post how you made your part? I am interested in your mold.

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  gundoctor

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Posted: December 06 2008 at 11:22pm | IP Logged Quote gundoctor

Guys, I have run down "pot metal" for a long time, but I was looking around a while back and ran across some interesting information on Zn alloys.  Some of them are really high performance and they look easy to cast compared to even aluminum--and probably better than any scrap aluminum we could cast.

Go here and read for an hour or so.

http://www.eazall.com/designersoverview.aspx

also, here is an article detailing the strength of one zinc alloy compared to aluminum casting.

2008-12-06_232838_superwinch.pdf

another on thin walled casting done in industrial products


2008-12-06_233245_thin_wall_castings.pdf

Edited by gundoctor
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  gundoctor

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Posted: December 06 2008 at 11:57pm | IP Logged Quote gundoctor

A very nice brochure on the zinc alloys


2008-12-06_235719_zinc_casting_brochure.pdf

Zinc melting and handling


2008-12-07_000721_zinc_melting_and_handling.pdf

Edited by gundoctor
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  midmichigun

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Posted: December 07 2008 at 12:19am | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

Whatsup Doc? Sorry, always wanted so say that!

Gundoctor,

Thanks for the info. I am looking forward to getting back and trying some techniques and materials.

I hope we can get more people casting parts and documenting it.

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  MADJACK

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Posted: December 07 2008 at 12:31pm | IP Logged Quote MADJACK

midmichigun wrote:

Madjack,

Could you post how you made your part? I am interested in your mold.

Do you meen the pattern? it is an original heatshield and gas block top epoxied togeather I added a raised portion to machine the rail out of, I'll try to drum up some pics, links etc.

One of my vids might give a good overview for you.

 

one thing to add, the mini cover pattern and part at the end were my 1st attempt, I actually changed a few things to refine the idea in the final one, but the idea is still the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOS6q60oBYU



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  MADJACK

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Posted: December 07 2008 at 12:49pm | IP Logged Quote MADJACK

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  midmichigun

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Posted: December 07 2008 at 1:03pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

madjack,

Yep, I was meaning the pattern.

I have a rail that I got as a package deal. I am looking at working it into my designs as much as possible.

Thanks for the info.... and this thread keeps getting better!

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  tommerr

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Posted: December 12 2008 at 8:02pm | IP Logged Quote tommerr

I got some real world practical advice on what aluminum scraps would be good for casting. If you want to cast then find cast items to remelt such as motorcycle and lawn mower engine casings. The big boys want high quality castings with a low rate of scrap. Whatever they used, I would use. Not all aluminum alloys are the same and some were formulated expressly for casting. I would refrain from mixing wrought and cast alloys.
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  Inabadhood

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Posted: February 11 2009 at 6:10pm | IP Logged Quote Inabadhood

Just thought I'd post an link to another thread here...

http://www.weaponeer.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6017& PN=1&TPN=1

I recently added some pics to the foam cutter thread.

It might help you guys (with Casting Furnaces) get a couple other ideas for some of your future gun build projects...

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  Joab

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Posted: February 11 2009 at 7:43pm | IP Logged Quote Joab

I have 20 years in at casting silver and gold. I have done sand casting and investment casting of both. With Sand casting gravity fills the mold and the mold has to be vented to get good fills. Sand casting does not have the density or finish of investment casting due to the casting process. Good results can be had if you take your time and practice the process. Denser and higher quality casting are obtained by using centrifugal or Vacuum machines and by using silica based investment.

When using lost wax and investment the wax is burned out of the mold and the mold is heated to 1350 to burn out carbon and get rid of moisture. The temp is lowered to around 1000 and the mold is ready to cast. One issue is shrinkage of the metal when it cools. I usually add about 10% to the model size to account for shrinkage and I would think aluminum would have the same issues.

Just my two cents.

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  midmichigun

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Posted: February 15 2009 at 1:34am | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

joab,

Thanks for your post. I someone missed it. Welcome aboard and we love information here.

I was just flipping through my Home Shop Machinist magazine for Jan/ Feb 09. On page 75 they have an ad for "A Perfect Ten". It appears to be a set of project from 2001/02. At the top is- Casting Iron in the Home Foundry. Did anyone catch this article when it was published? The total cost is $42.00 plus S&H.

On page 78 they have a book titled: Metallurgy Fundamentals by Brandt and Warner. Cost is $50.00 plus S&H. It covers heat treating and tempering. Just some FYI for everyone.

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  dcorb

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Posted: March 01 2009 at 1:08pm | IP Logged Quote dcorb

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  midmichigun

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Posted: March 01 2009 at 2:07pm | IP Logged Quote midmichigun

dcorb,

Very inspiring.... Excellent find!

Makes me want to melt something!

Thanks for posting!

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  dcorb

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Posted: March 05 2009 at 7:41am | IP Logged Quote dcorb

Looks like this guy is having fun with metal casting:

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/2828/casting.html

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/2828/

 

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